BOONE COUNTY, in the central part of Iowa and traversed by Des Moines river. Area, 600 square miles. Seat of justice, Booneville. Pop. in 1850, 735. (Fanning's, 1853)
BOONE, a county in the W. central part of Iowa, has an area of 576 square miles. It is intersected by the Des Moines river, dividing it into two nearly equal parts. The county has a fertile soil, is well timbered, and contains stone coal. The population is increasing rapidly. Capital, Bonneville. (Baldwin's New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States..., 1854)
BOONE COUNTY Was first settled at Pea's Point, (now called Flat-rock,) in May, 1846, by John Pea, a pioneer of the old stock, a Pennsylvanian by birth, who has lived in every State that intervenes between his native State and Iowa, when they were wild and primitive forests. He was also an early settler in Missouri. This old man still resides in Boone County, and with the gray hairs of some seventy years upon his head, such are his erect form and comparatively robust constitution, that Time seems to have broken its billows over his manly form only as the ocean rends its fury over the immovable rock of its shores. The old gentleman is still full of adventure and enterprise, and may ere long be one of the freemen of Nebraska.
Montgomery McCall settled near where Boonsboro now stands, in the month of February, 1847, and for about a year his family lived nearer the source of the Des Moines river than any other white family. During the winter of 1846 and 1847, seven hundred Pottawattamie Indians were encamped in the vicinity of these families.
The town of Boonsboro was located on the 7th day of July, 1851, as the county-seat, by commissioners appointed for that purpose by the State Legislature, and is likely ever to remain the seat of justice for the county.
The present population of Boonsboro is about 300. The population of the county over 2000. Immigration is rapidly pouring in.
The present school system of the State is in admirable effect in all the settled parts of the county. In Boonsboro a public school is continually in session, under the superintendence of an able teacher.
A Baptist church is in course of erection, and a Methodist, and a United Brethren church of small dimensions. The respective congregations are in better condition than their church buildings, owing to the difficulty of getting lumber to build with.
No newspaper published in the county j the publication of one will probably commence next May.
No manufactories of any note in the county. The mill at the Rapids, fifteen miles below Boonsboro, is situated at one of the best mill sites in the county, (it is probably the best mill site in the State). But the present owners are pecuniarily unable to improve it as it should be. They make good flour at said mill, but fall far short of supplying the wants of those who naturally depend upon it. In able bands this mill site would be a fortune to its owner. A steam saw and flouring mill is needed in Boonsboro; no enterprise would pay better. None of the present citizens are able to erect a suitable one, and the rich field is open to a stranger. It would be the only mill within fifteen miles. Lumber is in high demand. Boonsboro might have been three times its present size, only for the want of lumber.
Boone County is 21 miles square. The river Des Moines runs through the centre of it from north to south. The bed of the river is deep, and the bluffs on either side of the rich bottoms are high, and in many places abrupt. The wildest scenery on the whole course of this river is in this county. The bottoms are large, and clothed with the best of timber. The average width of the Des Moines timber through the county is six miles. The country, after leaving the timber on each side of the Des Moines, is level, rich, alluvial prairie. Beaver Creek, in the western part of the county is skirted with a plentiful supply of fine timber, and its prairie bottoms cannot be surpassed. Montgomery's Creek, a tributary of the Skunk, runs through the north-east corner of the county, and a fine settlement of Indianians is springing up along its banks.
Stone-coal of a fine quality is plenty everywhere in this county ; but timber is so plenty, that as yet not much use is made of the coal for fuel.
Everywhere water is plenty. Wells on the prairie are dug from fifteen to thirty feet deep. Stock water is abundant, and this is as fine a grazing region as any in the State. (Iowa As It Is in 1855; A Gazetteer for Citizens..., 1855)